‘Top quality’ Johnson hailed

by Stuart Vose

Boss's praise for England flyer.

Martin O’Neill described Adam Johnson as “top quality” after tying up a deal to bring the England winger to Wearside.

The pacy 25-year-old signed a four-year contract last Friday after Sunderland agreed an undisclosed fee with Manchester City.

“Adam is a very, very exciting player – top quality,” O’Neill said after seeing the home clash with Reading postponed.

“He has all the things that are associated with him – vitality, and brilliance, really. We’re going to try and get the very best out of him.

“I hope he doesn’t think that every time he gets the ball that there’s going to be a goal at the end of it, or something like that.

“But he’ll excite people – that’s the thing about Adam.”

The addition of Johnson rounded off a productive day in the transfer market for O’Neill, who also added Steven Fletcher to his squad on Friday afternoon.

The pair join fellow new boys Carlos Cuellar and Louis Saha, both of whom were signed on free transfers.

O’Neill is brewing a potent attacking mix with the additions of Fletcher, Johnson and Saha, while Cuellar made an assured competitive debut at the back against Arsenal.

“We need to score some goals and get a bit of excitement at the football club,” added the Sunderland boss.

“Last season we showed great determination to pull out of the quagmire, and we need that still.

“Now we can add a wee bit of quality to the team, which serves everyone well, the supporters for a start.

“Obviously they get excited about the team, and it’s good for the players too – they are desperate for these boys to play well because it enhances their own game.”